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November 2023 The Best Events and Festivals in Florida

The Best Events and Festivals in Florida

The Best in Florida Festivals and Events November 2023

Use this post to find the best in Florida festivals and events in November 2023.

Florida hosts some amazing events and festivals. Each month I hope to take a look at a dozen or so of these in hopes of bringing you fun, exciting, and unexpected ways to enjoy our state.

If you have an event or know of one coming up that you feel should be highlighted, please drop me a line with as much information as you can, including a website. I’ll be glad to include your suggestions in future posts.

Posts are listed in date order.

Volusia County Fair logoNovember 2-12      Volusia County Fair           DeLand

Founded in 1923, the Volusia County Fair offers the chance to show livestock, horticulture, and home and craft products. Participants are able to compete for awards. Highlights of the fair include rides, games, live entertainment, and the Miss Volusia County Fair competition.

Buy tickets online or at the gate.

 

 

November 3-5             Cedar Key Pirate Invasion

Come, celebrate with the pirates! See how they lived on land when ashore. Learn from some of the finest re-enactors on the East Coast. Watch and listen as the pirates set up an outpost in the city park. The park will be open from 12:00 noon on Friday November 3th. Come and purchase wares and clothing from Vendors Row. Listen to rousing, toe tapping sea shanties. Friday evening roam the town with the Pirates eating and drinking in the local establishments! Pirates YE BE WARNED! No open containers in public!

 

Nomatic

 

November 3-4             Florida Seafood Festival             Apalachicola

The festival features delicious seafood, arts and crafts exhibits, seafood related events, Musical Entertainment. Some of the notable events include Oyster Eating and Oyster Shucking contest, Blue Crab Races, Photo Contest, Parade, 5k Redfish Run, The Blessing of the Fleet, History of the Festival Exhibit and Tonging for Treasure.

This is a NON-PET FRIENDLY event.

 

 

Orlando Greek Fest Best Events and Festivals in FloridaNovember 3-5             Orlando Greek Fest

Fun for the whole family! Come out and enjoy authentic Greek foods, dancing, live music, church tours, iconography presentations, and much, much more! Free admission but be advised, this is a cashless event.

 

 

 

 

November 4                Jacksonville Porchfest        Historic Springfield

The ninth annual Jacksonville PorchFest, a music festival held on the welcoming front porches of Historic Springfield, will take place on Saturday, November 4, 2023, from 12 pm to 8 pm.  The free, family-friendly event will feature musicians from a wide variety of genres. Afternoon entertainment will include more than twenty performers on porches throughout the historic district. Attendees will stroll from porch to porch and “camp out” on front lawns and sidewalks as they enjoy live, local talent. Food, drink, and arts vendors are to be found throughout the event.

This is a dog friendly event!

 

 

November 4-5             Mount Dora Plant and Garden Fair

Vendors and nurseries from all over the state come to Mount Dora, Florida. With a wide variety of Florida native and exotic plants, garden ware along with arts & crafts at this annual event you will find something you need to take home. Get gardening advice from Experts and let our volunteers help you take your plants to your car.

 

 

Palatka Fall Bluegrass Festival Best Events and Festivals in FloridaNovember 9-11          Palatka Fall Bluegrass Festival    Palatka

Featuring Rhonda Vincent and dozens of other acts, this is a bluegrass lovers dream event. Multiple ticket options available online.

 

November 10-12        Electric Daisy Carnival               Orlando

Under the Electric Sky, we come together to celebrate life, love, art, and music. From the stages and the sound to the pyrotechnics and the performers, so many unique elements go into bringing this world to life. We invite you to wander, explore, interact, and connect. Imagination and positive energy are the currency of this place.

Buy your tickets online ahead of time.

 

Super Girl Surf ProNovember 10-12        Super Girl Surf Pro            Jacksonville

Established in 2007 as a showcase for women in action sports, the Super Girl Pro Series is the only large-scale all-women’s action sports, esports and lifestyle series in the world.  Developed as a celebration of female strength and empowerment, the platform has grown into a series of five incredible festivals centered around providing social, athletic, cultural, educational, business, and entertainment opportunities for young women in areas where they are traditionally underrepresented.

 

November 11              Boca Raton Wine & Food Festival

As you stroll through the Festival on Saturday feeling the balmy breeze while the sun sets you will be embraced in sensory delight as your journey takes you through a variety of Culinary Cuisines; a Welcome Reception, Italian, American, Mediterranean, Asia Pacific, Spanish, Sweet Endings Village, Spirits and BBQ Village, and the fan favorite Villages; Craft Brew, Fine Wine & Artisanal Cheese Village and Specialty Foods Village, Retail and Business Shopping Bazaar. The festival’s featured wines can be purchased during the event.

Buy your tickets online in advance.

 

 

South Florida Seafood Festival Best Events and Festivals in FloridaNovember 12              South Florida Seafood Festival           Miami

30+ Local Seafood Favorites, 10+ of Miami’s Finest Chefs fire up our Kitchen Lab, Amazing Cocktails by Miami’s top Mixologists, Live Music All Day, Big Kid Yard Games, Curated Nautical Market, Family Fun Zone with Huge Inflatables, Slides, Games & More!

Buy your tickets in advance to save. This event is rain or shine, no refunds.

 

 

Palatka Craft Beer FestivalNovember 18              Palatka Craft Beer Festival

Breweries from all over north and central Florida. Beer tastings of more than 20 different beers. Live music, food trucks, and free admission for designated drivers. VIP or General Admission tickets are available online. The proceeds benefit the Rotary Club of Palatka.

 

 

 

Fall Festival of the Arts DeLandNovember 18 & 19    Fall Festival of the Arts DeLand

Their 30th annual fine arts, juried festival held in the downtown area. Downtown DeLand will be full of artists, vendors, food, and live entertainment. This is a free event.

 

November 18 & 19    Eau Gallie Arts Festival              Melbourne

Established in 1996, the festival is now in its 27th year. Artists from across the state bring their talents, passion, and wares. Live music on Sunday.

 

November 2023 Events and Festivals in Florida Daytona Turkey RunNovember 23-26,       50th Daytona Turkey Run           Daytona Beach

Held annually at Daytona International Speedway, this event is a car lover’s dream. Here you can see amazingly restored cars, buy and sell cars, parts, and memorabilia, enjoy fellow enthusiasts, visit the handmade craft vendor section, and enjoy food and drink. This year, enter for a chance to win a 1932 Ford Roadster. Funds raised by the Turkey Run are kept within the local community.

 

 

Island Art Festival

November 25              Island Art Festival              Big Pines Key

Come from 9am-3pm to celebrate the holiday season at this family-friendly event. Enjoy local arts and crafts with live music and delicious food at MM 31. Experience original one-of-a-kind Island art and a wide array of crafts. FREE ADMISSION & PARKING!

 

 I hope you have found interesting things to do in this look at the November 2023 Best Events and Festivals in Florida. Be sure to bookmark my site and check back for fun things to do in December in Florida!

This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. If you click these links and make a purchase, I may receive a small commission. This commission does not affect any price that you pay. All views and opinions provided are my own and are never influenced by affiliate programs or sponsors providing products. 

 

Candy You Ate As A Kid

 

 

 

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September 2023 The Best Events and Festivals in Florida

The Best Florida Events and Festivals

The Best in Florida Events and Festivals September 2023

Florida hosts some amazing events and festivals. Each month I hope to take a look at a dozen or so of these in hopes of bringing you fun, exciting, and unexpected ways to enjoy our state.

If you have an event or know of one coming up that you feel should be highlighted, please drop me a line with as much information as you can, including a website. I’ll be glad to include your suggestions in future posts.

Events are listed in date order.

Create My Map

September 1-10              Miami International Auto Show       Miami Beach

Our show provides an excellent opportunity for consumers to view the latest models and newest technologies within the auto industry. The focus for the show in 2023 will mirror that of the industry with a special emphasis on electric vehicles and sustainability.

Several indoor EV tracks will introduce South Floridians to the newest electric vehicles on the market. For the first time in the Auto Show’s history, the Camp Jeep activation will be moving inside the Convention Center. The vehicles on the thrill-ride tracks will be electric.

Admission is $15 for adults. Several discount programs are available. Check the website for details.

Subscribe to Car and Driver magazine at a great savings price. Click the image for details.
Subscribe to Car and Driver and save by clicking THIS LINK or the image.

 

September 7-10              Florida Keys Lionfish Derby & Festival          Islamorada

REEF’s 14th annual event will include two full days of lionfish fishing, followed by a family-friendly festival at picturesque Postcard Inn Resort & Marina. The festival is open to the public and will include lionfish scoring, fillet and dissection demonstrations, lionfish tastings, lionfish games and crafts, raffle prizes, plus booths from environmentally-minded vendors. Chefs will be providing lionfish cooking demonstrations and special dishes and drink specials will be available.

While in Islamorada, you don’t want to miss out on the incredible snorkeling and diving, where you can experience coral reefs, tropical fish, and other marine life. Relax on this two-hour guided catamaran tour and enjoy all that Islamorada has to offer. Click THIS LINK for details and to book the snorkeling adventure of a lifetime.

Emerald Coast Beer Festival September 8, 2023 in Pensacola.September 8     Emerald Coast Beer Festival   Pensacola

Emerald Coast Beer Festival returns for our 27th year on September 8th, 2023 at Seville Quarter in Pensacola, Florida. There are 50+ microbreweries present and another 50-100 represented by their distributors. In addition to the microbreweries, there are generally 10+ homebrew clubs providing beer.

Online ticket prices start at $35.

 

 

 

Founder's Day in St. Augustine September 9, 2023.September 9     Founder’s Day    St. Augustine

Pedro Menendez and his troops landed in St. Augustine on September 8, 1565, and the city celebrates each year with a Founder’s Day Commemoration. For the 458th anniversary, the observance is on Saturday, September 9, 2023. Activities start at 10:00 a.m. at the Mission Nombre de Dios and continue at the Fountain of Youth Archaeological Park, concluding at 5:00 p.m.

Admission to Nombre de Dios is free.

Admission to the Fountain of Youth Archaeological Park is $19.95 for adults and is free on Founder’s Day for residents of St. Johns County with valid ID.

 

I Like it Hot Festival in Largo, FL September 9-10

September 9-10              I Like it Hot Festival                Largo

The Largest Hot Sauce & Taco Festival in Florida!

Amateur hot sauce competition, amateur bbq sauce competition, amateur salsa competition, jalepeno eating contest, live music, food vendors, and more.

Worldwide Hot Sauce Cookbook--click to order
Click THIS LINK or the photo to order your copy of The Worldwide Hot Sauce Cookbook! 150 recipes from all over the world selected for true hot sauce fans.

 

September 15 & 16        Florida Fin Fest   Jacksonville Beach

Florida Fin Fest is a FREE two-day Ocean Conservation, Education, and Music Festival happening in Jacksonville Beach, FL on September 15th & 16th, benefiting OCEARCH.

Education, music, food trucks, and more.

 

Jax Taco Fest September 16-17, 2023September 16-17       Jax Taco Fest            Jacksonville

Mucho fun, tacos, and beer!

Get ready for an action-packed day filled with a variety of tacos, margaritas, delicious churros, guacamole, elotes, live entertainment, KIDS ZONE and Other Taco themed activities! Plus upgrade your admission to VIP to get access to the Restricted VIP Area with hard drinks and margaritas for purchase.

 

September 16       SWFL SteamCon           Cape Coral

SWFL SteamCon is a small-scale Steampunk & Fantasy convention in Fort Myers, FL featuring authors & craft makers, steampunk themed activities, costume contests, live music and more! Attendees are encouraged to dress up and have fun. This is a family friendly event, fun for all ages!

September 22       Orlando Salsa Festival             Orlando/Amway Center

Get ready for the ultimate salsa extravaganza! The Orlando Salsa Festival is coming to Amway Center on September 22, featuring the legendary Willie Colón and El Gran Combo! Prepare to dance the night away to the electrifying rhythms of salsa and experience a once-in-a-lifetime concert event. Tickets are on sale now!

CLICK HERE to find tickets at the best prices.

Sip mojitos and enjoy tasty bites while learning to dance Salsa and Bachata in Miami. After the Salsa experience guests ages 21 and over are invited stay for the nightclub and enjoy live music, tropical performances, and dancing all night. This is a fun activity for singles, couples and groups and perfect for celebrating your birthday, anniversary, bachelorette party or vacation. Click the photo for details and to purchase
Sip mojitos and enjoy tasty bites while learning to dance Salsa and Bachata in Miami. After the Salsa experience guests ages 21 and over are invited stay for the nightclub and enjoy live music, tropical performances, and dancing all night. This is a fun activity for singles, couples and groups and perfect for celebrating your birthday, anniversary, bachelorette party or vacation. CLICK HERE or the on the image for information and to book your incredible night out in MIAMI!

 

 

September 29-October 1         Pensacola Seafood Festival          Pensacola

This free festival takes place in downtown Pensacola. THIS IS NOT A PET FRIENDLY EVENT!

Arts and crafts, commercial vendors, food vendors, and food trucks will all have items available for purchase. REPEAT, THIS IS NOT A PET FRIENDLY EVENT!

St. Augustine Songwriters Festival September 29-October 1, 2023

September 29-October 1         St. Augustine Songwriters Festival   St. Augustine

Get ready to immerse yourselves in a musical extravaganza at the St. Augustine Songwriters Festival. Picture yourself amid captivating performances, where top-notch hitmakers come together to unravel the untold stories and inspirations behind their sensational chart-toppers. From heartwarming anecdotes to unexpected twists, this festival is a treasure trove of secrets that will leave you enchanted and craving for more.

September 30       Lake Nona VegFest        Lake Nona

Plant-Based + Wellness Festival where you can enjoy food, drinks, free fitness and yoga classes and more

This completely vegan festival will have over 60 vegan vendors including local businesses and special guests from out of town. You can expect live music, speakers, dance classes, yoga classes and other entertainment all free.

This is a family and pet friendly event where all are welcome.

This post may contain affiliate links. If you click these links and make a purchase, I may receive a small commission. This commission does not affect any price that you pay. All views and opinions provided are my own and are never influenced by affiliate programs or sponsors providing products. 

 

 

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August 2023 The Best Events and Festivals in Florida

The Best Events and Festivals in Florida

The Best in Florida Festivals and Events August 2023

Florida hosts some amazing events and festivals. Each month I hope to take a look at a dozen or so of these in hopes of bringing you fun, exciting, and unexpected ways to enjoy our state.

If you have an event or know of one coming up that you feel should be highlighted, please drop me a line with as much information as you can, including a website. I’ll be glad to include your suggestions in future posts.

Posts are listed in date order.

 

New Smyrna Beach Shrimp and Seafood Festival on Flagler AvenueAugust 3     New Smyrna Beach Shrimp and Seafood Festival            New Smyrna Beach

The best restaurants in New Smyrna Beach will be offering sample size portions priced at an economical $5-$8 each, allowing you to try all your favorites. No admission fees.

 

 

August 4th-6th        DanceAfrica Miami       Miami

Includes West African dance and drum instruction, concerts, food trucks, a kid’s village and more. Performers from Senegal, Haiti, Congo, and more are anticipated to participate.

DanceAfrica Miami August 4-6, 2023

August 4th-6th        Jurassic Quest                Daytona Beach

The largest and most realistic Dinosaur Exhibit on tour, featuring true-to-detail (and size!) dinosaurs, including a 60 foot long, sky-scraping Spinosaurus, the 80-foot-long Apatosaurus, and the gigantic LIFESIZE T. Rex.

 

Key West Lobsterfest August 10th-13th      26th Annual Key West Lobsterfest           Key West

Seafood lovers can chow down on Florida’s clawless lobster during a tasty “feast-ival” with a savory and packed schedule of events ranging from a traditional lobster boil to special dinners, and a lively street fair. The flavorful festivities celebrate the bounty of the Florida Keys lobster season that opens Aug. 6.

August 11-12        Fernandina Beach Kingfish Tournament and Fishing Rodeo     

With many of North Florida’s big fishing contests held in June and July, Fernandina’s annual family-friendly event also includes an inshore fishing contest. The Kingfish division pays out $10,000 for first place, the inshore Fishing Rodeo pays out for four species: flounder, sea trout, redfish and sheepshead. There are also contests for female and junior anglers.

 

August 12   16th Annual Parade & Commemoration of the 2nd Seminole War             St. Augustine

From 9 a.m.-2 p.m., the Florida National Guard will host the 16th annual Parade & Ceremony commemorating the end of the 2nd Seminole War and those who perished. Free and open to the public, at 10:45 a.m. historians will march to the National Cemetery where the commemoration ceremony will take place at the pyramids and Dade Monument.

 

August 19      Plaid in the Park        Mount Dora

Mount Dora’s beautiful Sunset Park transforms into a scene of Celtic revelry as bagpipe bands, drummers and dancers celebrate the city’s Scottish heritage. Don your kilts and tartans and head downtown for an evening of entertainment, vendors selling teas, jams, pastries and gifts, and other food and drinks for sale. It’s a great way to experience this cute Florida small town and feel immersed in a faraway culture while also supporting small businesses in the downtown district.

 

 

August 19th-20th    Central Florida Home Expo    Orlando

The Central Florida Home Expo features exhibitors with fabulous ideas for consumers. At this show you’ll find the latest in products and services for home improvement. Visitors meet with professionals to make your next remodeling, renovation, landscaping, patio, or decorating project a big success. Free admission.

August 26   Coke Zero Sugar 400      Daytona Beach

The regular season finale before the Chase for the Cup starts, provides that last chance for drivers to qualify for the biggest prize in NASCAR.

Click the link to get your Coke Zero 400 tickets
Get your Coke Zero Sugar 400 tickets now at the best prices. Click the photo or THIS LINK.

 

August 26   FAMU Florida Grape Harvest Festival      Tallahassee

Celebrate family, food, fun, and agricultural discovery in recognition of FAMU’s role as a national leader in viticulture research. Featured activities include the vineyards trailer ride, grape and wine sampling, popular grape stomping contest, water slides, a grape throwing competition, a hula hoop competition, live entertainment, fun vineyard run and walk-a-thon (MAP), grape picking, a health fair, and more than 60 community exhibitors and vendors.

 

August 26   12th Annual Greater St. Pete Cupcake Contest    St. PetersburgSt. Pete Cupcake Contest

The Morean Arts Center invites you to our city-wide search for St. Petersburg’s BEST CUPCAKE!

The contest will be hosted at the Morean Center for Clay located in the Warehouse Arts District at 420 22nd Street South.

Tallahassee Beer Festival August 26, 2023August 26   Tallahassee Beer Festival         Tallahassee

General Admission: GA grants you access to the two main sample rooms. And by rooms we mean the entire arena and exhibit space at the Tuck. Beer is everywhere. Soft drinks and water are available for free. Food available for purchase.

 

August 31-September 4   Key West Brewfest         Key West

Brewfest is a multi-day festival hosted by Southernmost Beach Resort! It includes beer pairing dinners, pool parties, tap takeovers, and culminates with a signature tasting event with over 150 beers available for tasting. Events take place at many restaurants, hotels, and bars around town making Brewfest a great way to experience Key West!

This post may contain affiliate links. If you click these links and make a purchase, I may receive a small commission. This commission does not affect any price that you pay. All views and opinions provided are my own and are never influenced by affiliate programs or sponsors providing products. 

Nomatic

 

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Orlando Magazine-A Great Option for Locals and Tourists Alike

Orlando Magazine September 2022

I recently came across Orlando Magazine and want to share this with my readers. I think many of you might be interested.

Orlando Magazine September 2022
Orlando Magazine September 2022 Issue

Orlando Magazine provides readers with a diverse look at all that is happening in the “City Beautiful” and the surrounding areas. This is a magazine that is perfect for locals and visitors alike. They cover a wide array of subjects; it’s not strictly business, tourist, or real estate driven.

Orlando Magazine is a monthly city magazine with eye-catching, contemporary design and compelling content that is both entertaining and informative. The arts, news, dining, travel, entertainment, style, people and trends – if it’s part of Orlando’s lifestyle, it can be found in Orlando Magazine.

The issue I picked up includes the “Ultimate Farm Guide.” This article includes a look at multiple farms including Southern Hill Farms (be sure to check out their Fall Festival), Wild Flower Farm, Uncle Matt’s Organic (the juices sound delicious), Webb’s Honey, and more. As residents we already know that Central Florida is home to a diverse agricultural economy. It is sometimes easy to forget this though and by highlighting just a small handful of these stories it reminds us how important it is to support our local growers.

For those of us into arts and culture, the 2022-2023 Season Preview is a must read. From Broadway Shows at Dr. Phillips Center (Hamilton is coming back to Orlando) to the  Orlando Museum of Art  will be hosting a tour of drawings from the Casa Buonarroti Museum in Florence which promises to be a real treat, Orlando is offering top level cultural events. Orlando Shakes is making their return after being shutdown  due to COVID-19. Lovers of art, theater, dance, and other cultural activities should review the list. Orlando is truly alive with culture for everybody.

Prior issues have included best burger, a look at Ocala horse country, a celebration of the 30th anniversary of the Greater Orlando Sports Commission, and more. The October 2022 issue takes a look at the fifty most powerful people in the community, a guide to the best haunts  is available just in time for Halloween (think Cassadaga, the Oviedo Lights, the Annie Russell Theater, Greenwood Cemetery, and other places that might make your skin crawl, and includes an excellent events calendar.

Great magazines at low prices for students & educators. Click to save up to 90% off the cover price.

This post may contain affiliate links. If you click these links and make a purchase, I may receive a small commission. This commission does not affect any price that you pay. All views and opinions provided are my own and are never influenced by affiliate programs or sponsors providing products.

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Chocolate Museum and Cafe in Orlando Florida

Chocolate Museum and Cafe

Chocolate Museum and Café

11701 International Drive Orlando, FL 32821

Chocolate Museum and Cafe
Chocolate Museum and Cafe–located on International Drive in Orlando, FL

Who doesn’t love good chocolate? I am not talking about the kind you get at the local convenience store but rather hand crafted pieces made from the highest quality beans. OK, I know there are a few of you out there but for the rest of us, the Chocolate Museum and Café can be a heavenly experience. Expensive, but heavenly.

Located in the tourist heavy International Drive area of Orlando, the Museum and Café are just that. A museum and a café. Calling it a museum may be stretch, particularly for those with any kind of museum or history background. More what you have is a collection of items with little explanation or interpretive work. Visitors will mostly rely on their tour guide to provide information on what is displayed. You can visit the two parts of the attraction without the other though the museum tour is really a sales pitch for the café.

When you walk in you are greeted with display cases of beautifully molded chocolates and sweets. If you have not pre-bought your tour ticket, you pay here. The tour is not cheap at $17 for adults. I highly recommend watching Groupon for discounted tickets. That is where we got ours. With that and the sales offers Groupon regularly displays I believe our tickets were below $10 apiece. Much more reasonable and really, much more in line with what I might expect to pay for a tour that lasts around 45 minutes.

 

Icon Orlando Admission – $53.25

Icon Orlando admission is a top priority for visitors to the greater Orlando area.

 

 

Your Tour Guide
Your Tour Guide provides background and introductory information

Your tour begins with a casually dressed guide leading you to a short video presentation then taking you into the “jungles” where you will learn about the cacao plant.

In the next room, you will learn about the history of chocolate and how this delicacy was discovered, so to speak. Chocolate has not always been a favorite taste and you will learn more here as to how it has developed over time.

Chocolate Making Equipment
Some early equipment that was used to make chocolate candies

Have you ever wondered how chocolate candies are made? The next room features displays of machinery used to create some of the most famous candies in the world.

Next, visit the chocolate sculpture room, where you will encounter the Eiffel Tower, Statue of Liberty, Easter Island, Taj Mahal, Mount Rushmore, the Great Wall of China, and much more, all carved out of chocolate. It really is amazing what these artisans can create.

A Chocolate Mount Rushmore
Mount Rushmore recreated in chocolate
Eiffel Tower made of chocolate
The Eiffel Tower made of delicious chocolate
Great Wall of Chine made of chocolate
The Great Wall of China or should it be the Great Wall of Chocolate

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Finally, the tasting! Here your guide will prepare each visitor a small sampling of various chocolates where you will learn how different manufacturing techniques lead to differing tastes. SURPRISE! All the samples you just tried are for sale right outside as you step back into the lobby area.

Samples
At the end of your tour, sample some chocolates that are available for purchase
Display Cases loaded with chocolate from around the world
Display cases to tempt visitors with chocolates from around the world

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The café offers a wide variety of chocolates made on site and from artisan chocolate companies. If you are looking for a snickers bar, head on down the road.

The café features a large assortment of coffee drinks, baked goods, pastries, sandwiches and gelatos. I will tell you, the hot chocolate is delicious and the gelatos were amazing. We did not try any of the sandwiches but we did indulge with several pieces of chocolate to go. As would be expected, prices are not cheap and your bill can add up quickly.

Pierre Cheese Market

We had a good time even though from a “museum” point of view it fell flat. I would not recommend this for families however. It is not a cheap visit and kids probably will not grasp the difference between these chocolates and a Hershey bar. It is good for a couple’s afternoon out or maybe with a few friends.

The museum and café are open noon until 6 p.m. every day. Museum tours begin at 1 p.m. and run every hour with the last tour at 5 p.m.

This post may contain affiliate links. If you click these links and make a purchase, I may receive a small commission. This commission does not affect any price that you pay. All views and opinions provided are my own and are never influenced by affiliate programs or sponsors providing products.

Chocolate for Beginners
Chocolate in Mesoamerica: A Cultural History of Cacao
Great Moments in Chocolate History w/ 20 Classic Recipes
Chocolate Wars


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Jack Kerouac House in Orlando, Florida: A Must See if You are “On the Road”

Jack Kerouac House
1418 Clouser Avenue
Orlando, FL 32804

By Kerouac_by_Palumbo.jpg: Tom Palumbo from New York, NY, USA derivative work: Sir
Richardson at en.wikipedia – This file was derived from: Kerouac by Palumbo.jpg:, CC BY-SA
2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=85963062

When most people think of the Beat Generation, certain visuals often come to mind.
Unemployed young adults, sitting around a coffee house in San Francisco, smoking away, rambling on self-importantly about books most of main stream America has never read seems to often fit the description. These descriptors are really about beatniks and not a literary movement. For those a bit more acquainted with the Beat Generation, certain names will come immediately to mind; Kerouac, Burroughs, Kesey, Ginsberg, and maybe even Ferlinghetti. Literature titles such as Howl, Naked Lunch, and On the Road  are probably the most famous. Despite the passage of nearly seventy years, these books and others of the movement are still in print and widely read today.

In July of 1957, only months before the groundbreaking On the Road would receive tremendous praise in the New York Times, the then 32-year-old Kerouac rented a small apartment for him and his mother. The home did not have air conditioning and the Florida heat was almost too much for Kerouac, who took to writing at night. Today, visitors to the city of Orlando have the opportunity to see the home where Jack Kerouac and his mother lived during 1957, the year that catapulted him to fame.

On the Road by Jack Kerouac                                                                The praise was not to be long, nor universal. The beatnik movement seemed to take over. Musician David Amram believes that the beatnik movement was a manufactured one, arguing Beat writers such as Kerouac were not the goateed, beret wearing, pretentious types. Rather, he described themselves as hicks, not wanting to draw attention to themselves. Author Bob Kealing, a noted Kerouac expert, has put forth that Kerouac himself claimed that those of the Beat Generation “were searching for spiritual truth and meaning beyond the confines of post-World War II life.” This search is what confounded and worried critics.

Meanwhile, in his small Orlando apartment, Kerouac continued typing away on his follow-up, to
be titled Dharma Bums. In a rapid fire twelve days of output, Kerouac finished the novel on
December 7, 1957, Pearl Harbor Day. Kealing reminds us that to Kerouac, the term “dharma”
meant truth.

Orlando Walking Ghost Tour – $54.67

Every year since its inception, the Orlando Ghost Tour has grown exponentially, with more and more people coming to enjoy their spooky stories and all-around demonic fun.

 

In April 1958, Jack and his mother packed into a station wagon owned by Robert Frank and
made off for Long Island, New York. Dharma Bums was published in October of that year.
Fame was not something Kerouac was ever comfortable with, nor does it seem that he sought it
out. Kerouac was to become too familiar with the bottom of a bottle, and on October 21, 1969, at
age 47, he died a painful death from cirrhosis of the liver. His remains were transported to
Lowell, Massachusetts, where he was buried at Edson Cemetery.

Jack Kerouac House, Orlando, FL

Listed today on the National Register of Historic Places, the future of the Orlando, Florida Kerouac House was not always assured. Once it was determined that this location was the residence of Kerouac during a critical time in the author’s life, efforts began in order to purchase and rehabilitate the house. Led by Kealing, former bookstore owners Marty and Jan Cummins, and others, they founded the not-for-profit Kerouac Project of Orlando. With the generous financial support of Jeffrey Cole and Cole National, they were able to purchase and rehabilitate the house. Today, the Project provides several writer in residence opportunities each year, allowing the visiting author to live and work in the home made famous by Jack Kerouac.

The home is not open to the public. Those wishing to see the house may drive by and briefly stop to take it in. There is not public parking available and this is a residential area so please be mindful of those who live in the area and if you are taking photos be on the watch for traffic. A state of Florida historical marker is on-site. The text reads

State of Florida Historic Marker–Jack Kerouac House Orlando, FL

Writer Jack Kerouac (1922-1969) lived and wrote in this 1920s tin-roofed house between 1957 and 1958. It was here that Kerouac received instant fame for publication of his bestselling book, On the Road, which brought him acclaim and controversy as the voice of The Beat Generation. The Beats followed a philosophy of self-reliance and self-expression. The unedited spontaneity of Kerouac’s prose shocked traditional writers, yet it brought attention to a legion of emerging poets, musicians, and artists who lived outside the conventions of post-World War II America. Photographs show Kerouac in the house’s back bedroom, with piles of pocket notebooks in which he scrawled thoughts and dreams while traveling. In April 1958, following completion of his follow-up novel, The Dharma Bums, and a play, the Beat Generation, Kerouac moved to Northport, New York. He died in 1969 at the age of 47. In 1996, author Bob Kealing discovered the house’s significance while researching an article to mark Kerouac’s 75th birthday. In 1998, The Kerouac Project established a retreat here for aspiring writers in tribute to him. In 2013, the house was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

To learn more about Jack Kerouac and his time in Florida, readers should find a copy of Bob Kealing’s excellent book, Kerouac in Florida.

Readers wishing to learn more about the Beat Generation, I recommend Desolate Angel: Jack Kerouac, the Beat Generation, and America, or perhaps Women of the Beat Generation: the Writers, Artists, and Muses at the Heart of a Generation. 

Sources:
Florida Master Site File, OR8407

Kealing, Bob. Kerouac in Florida: Where the Road Ends. Arbiter Press, 2004.

Kealing, Bob. “The Road to Kerouac: He Came to Orlando in 1957.” Orlrlando Sentinel. March 9,
1997.

National Park Service. National Register of Historic Places Registration Form: Jack Kerouac
House. 2013.

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Desolate Angel

Women of the Beat Generation

The Dharma Bums by Jack Kerouac

Allen Ginsberg, Howl
Naked Lunch by William S. Burroughs